It had been rumored that the "mystery guest speaker" at the on-going Republican National Convention (which I've avoided like the plague, save for the inevitable Twitter eruptions over this or that nonsensical speech) would be Clint Eastwood. And today, CNN confirmed it.

My question is: why now?

Yeah, Eastwood backed Romney publicly earlier this month, just like he bumped his head and came out for Sarah Palin in 2008. He's long been considered more libertarian than conservative, though. And I've always liked that his work as a director has never seemed agenda-driven (even if I don't like a number of the films). Indeed, sometimes the art would paint a fuzzier portrait of the artist's political leanings. But I guess in the world of "mystery guest speakers" for such a thing, he makes sense.

But the cynical part of me sees a new film on the way -- Robert Lorenz's "Trouble with the Curve" -- and a likely Best Actor campaign to go along with it. The cynical part of me sees this as a ploy for publicity in advance of that. And in Hollywood, cynicism generally wins the day.

The thing is, how well is that going to go over? Make no mistake, there is a silent, right-leaning sect in Hollywood and in the Academy as well, but we're talking about a town generally owned by liberalism. And come on, even Fox News is backing off this ticket a bit.

Of course, it probably won't matter at all. Eastwood is probably one of a handful of guys who can do just about anything he wants because Hollywood loves him. He's in a certain pantheon. And maybe he'll get away with it because he's a "political wanderer."

What do you think? Will Eastwood's appearance at the RNC tonight have any impact on his Oscar season hopes?

UPDATE: Well, here's the speech...in all it's batshit glory: